Introduction to Shopify Customer Returns
Returns are unavoidable for any e-commerce business. No matter the scale of dealings of a company, returns are an essential component of all of them. Shopify offers an array of services regarding return, refund or exchange requests. From automated returns management portals and return label generation to product tracking and refund payment options, Shopify provides an impeccable return experience for customers.
Returns become a crucial testament to the brand image and ability to establish customer loyalty. So what are the chief reasons for the returns process to be deemed this important? Here are some of them.
Why are returns a vital part of the customer buying experience on Shopify?
1) Grow customer satisfaction
When a company can carry out a hassle-free return and refund process, it increases customer loyalty by establishing a brand image of accountability and trust.
2) Growth in the number of customers
Upon establishing a trustworthy brand image, the company can now increase its reach across multiple sections of people.
3) Reduce company operational costs
Operating smooth and genuine return and refund transactions helps the company cut off a massive proportion of their overall expenditure.
4) Prevents losses due to fraud or damages
Several times return requests turn out to be fraud, or the company ends up catering to reverse logistics for damaged goods. An efficacious returns system helps the business prevent such circumstances.
How to manage returns on Shopify?
Shopify returns quickly and profitably; management becomes crucial for attracting future sales and establishing a trustworthy brand image. Some ways in which companies can manage returns and refunds professionally are as follows.
1) Precise, uncomplicated returns policy
A returns policy should be easily understandable and visible on the website for customers. Mentioning clear parameters for product returns helps avoid confusion or frustration, such as return window and eligibility.
2) Automation of returns system
With the more incredible advent of artificial intelligence in e-commerce, it has become easier for companies to have an overview of the whole business at the tip of their fingers. Furthermore, it reduces a lot of manual effort and time.
3) Specific returns wing for customers
The companies can organise a separate wing or centre for customer queries. This way, it clarifies the return, refund or exchange process for goods and their return eligibility.
4) Rational return window
The company should chalk up a reasonable return window for the customers to return their goods without hassle or pressure.
5) Multiple return methods
Offering multiple return methods lets the customer choose whatever means suits them the best. This arrangement increases the chances of the customer shopping in the business again, considering the easy returns and refunds process.
6) Inventory maintenance
For data relating to returns and refunds, the company can choose to maintain a database of all the information. This can be utilised in the future to understand trends within customers better.
Do easy returns negatively affect the profits acquired on Shopify?
Returns are an inevitable part of ecommerce and cannot be eliminated. They can result in enormous losses for the company if not handled properly. Many customers choose to return used or damaged goods or fraud returns which ultimately leads to wastage of company capital. What ecommerce businesses need to take care of is notably reducing its effect on company revenue generation.
Companies need to undertake return operations in such a way that it does not just maximise the area for profit generation but simultaneously provides the best possible customer services. Customers gravitate towards companies that offer free return options. Most customers also report that their future buying decision is highly influenced based on how simplistic the returns process is.
Multiple ways ensure your returns process actively translates to future revenue generation through sales.
Best Practices for Dealing with Returns and Refunds on Shopify
Following are some practices that companies can undertake to facilitate smooth company operations regarding returns and refunds.
1) Accurate product description
Product descriptions should be accurate and precise so customers can visualise the product. If the delivered product looks different from the displayed one, there are greater chances of return. You can choose to incorporate catchy visuals or give virtual try-on options using 3D/A.R. applications. This conveys much more information regarding what the customers are buying and what will work best for them.
2) Increasing transparency of the returns process
For ecommerce companies, brand image and perception plays a huge role in determining future sales. As a result, the company must keep an open approach when sharing information with customers regarding products and product status. This becomes easier with an automated return and refund tracking process that gives real-time updates to the customers about their product milestones through SMS or emails.
3) Hastening the return and refund process
Any individual would gravitate towards a company that issues fast returns and refunds. Automation of the returns procedure hastens the process to a great extent. It helps establish a brand image of trust, accountability and value for time.
4) Replacing returns with exchanges
Many return software also offers automated product recommendations based on past product interactions, orders, or best-selling products. This helps the business in engagement with customers and convert returns into revenue.
5) Inventory management
A company maintaining a roster of information makes it easier to formulate plans and tally their services as to what is most opted by the customers. Based on these trends, the company can identify backlogs within its procedures and act upon them to increase future sales.
6) Customer feedback
A great way to understand areas needing changes is to draw information from customer feedback after completing the returns process. Upon accumulating and analysing the data collected from multiple customers, the company can draw up recurrent factors for returns such as product description, logistic issues, manufacturing defects, etc.
5 Best Returns and Refund Management Apps for Shopify
Some of the most popular apps that provide seamless returns and refunds process take the help of A.I. automation to ease the process of returns and provide customers with hassle-free services. Here is a list of apps that you can utilise when it comes to returns and refund management.
1) Clickpost Return Plus
The Clickpost Return Plus app provides options for a self-serve returns portal wherein we can customise our brand aesthetic and a single dashboard to manage all return request details. It has a system of live milestone-based automated tracking updates for the customers. Further, it also automates the overall process of returns management by setting automated returnable and non-returnable reasons and approvals and processing the onboarding within 60 minutes. It also provides a comprehensive report on the return requests for further analysis.
2) Happy Returns
Happy Returns automates the return system and provides intelligent product recommendations based on the trends of return reasons and causes of previous orders. To make it easier, it offers multiple payment methods, and the logistics are aggregated and shipped in bulk, which reduces the costs to a great extent.
Returnly helps complete the automation of return reasons and policies, which helps in the easy surfacing of return requests. Customers are free to initiate return processes at any point in time, with drop-off locations of their convenience. They will also receive clear tracking updates through SMS, and the company can customise the tracking feature based on qualitative and quantitative customer feedback.
4) Aftership Returns Centre
Aftership offers applications for an automated returns management portal that increases operational efficiency, reduces fraudulent returns and helps the business analyse its returns system. It also provides services like automatic label generation, branded returns page, automated return notifications, non-returnable rules and API integration.
5) Return Prime
Return Prime offers options for easy exchanges with other products as well as automated refund options with gift cards. It eases the returns and refund process by automated means and lets the company draft customized notifications for operations and construct branded pages to build an image of trust and accountability.
To sum up the idea of seamless returns and their management, it is safe to say that returns are inevitable for a business, even more so in the e-commerce sector. Buying products without physically being present often causes detail gaps and a lack of complete information. But there are multiple methods that, if a company sincerely follows, can turn returns into vast sources of revenue generation. Especially with the help of Artificial Intelligence, it has opened up many more means to make the whole process much more accessible and affordable!